Walt Disney died before his $400-million Disney World superpark in Florida could be fully financed, but he would have been tickled to see how it was done. The Bank of America and seven Florida banks scrambled to put together a $50-mil-lion line of credit for Walt Disney Productions in 1967, but Board Chairman Roy Disney scorned it. He remembered that in 1955, when he and his brother Walt sought backing for Disneyland, they had to go to American Broadcasting Co., Western Printing & Lithographing Co., and 32 concessionaires. His brother even borrowed on his life insurance.
Recalling that Walt Disney had once said that "bankers are fellows who can't understand your business, Roy Disney sold convertible debentures of $40-million and $50-million in 1968 and 1969. When the price of Disney stock zoomed above the conversion level after the announcement of Disney World's coming, the two issues were called. Then, early this year, the company sold $72.5-million worth of common stock. In June it sold a convertible debenture issue of $100-million. 'And that, says Disney Productions President Donn B. Tatum, "along with our cash flow, should suffice.' The line of credit? Well, Tatum says, it can always be used for afterthoughts and leftovers.